A new electric truck at the Port of San Diego.

The San Diego Port Tenants Association announced Monday it is testing 10 all-electric freight vehicles, including semi-trucks and forklifts, as a way to move cargo without polluting the environment.

A $5.9 million grant from the California Energy Commission will be matched with $2.3 million in cash and in-kind contributions from the seven port tenants — CEMEX, Continental Maritime, Dole Food Company, Harborside Refrigerated Services and Cold Storage, Marine Group Boatworks, Pasha Group and TerminaLift — during the test.

“We are incredibly proud of the California Energy Commission grant because it proves our small but committed association is dedicated to protecting the environment,” said George Palermo, chair of the port tenants group. “We partnered with our industrial tenants as well as with San Diego Gas & Electric, the Grant Farm and the Port of San Diego to come out as the top awardee with the energy commission. We couldn’t be prouder and we will excel in production of 10 zero-emissions freight vehicles.”

The port group was one of two recipients of grants to fund demonstration projects for the use of clean medium- and heavy-duty vehicle technologies. The San Diego project is focused on all-electric freight vehicles.

“As a leader among ports in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Port of San Diego is always seeking innovative ways to promote sustainability, and we can’t ‘move the needle’ without the support of our tenants,” said Port of San Diego Chairman Marshall Merrifield. “This grant award will help us all meet our sustainability goals while we continue the region’s economic development.”

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.